Adam Comuniello ’20, ’22 MBA, who was named for a hockey star, had always wanted to work in the sports industry. He recently achieved his goal, accepting a marketing position with the Los Angeles Kings.
September 6, 2022
For Adam Comuniello ’20, ’22 MBA, sports – hockey, in particular – have always played a major role in his life. This was true even before he was born – his parents named him after Adam Graves, a former star player and two-time MVP for the New York Rangers, a National Hockey League team.
As part of a large family of devoted sports fans, Comuniello often played and watched sports when he was growing up. He always knew he wanted to pursue a career in sports. Earlier this year, he scored a major professional goal, landing a position with a National Hockey League team on the opposite coast. Now a marketing coordinator for the Los Angeles Kings, he started his position remotely in late June, then moved out to Los Angeles the following month.
“I honestly can’t describe it – this whole experience is still pretty surreal to me,” said Comuniello, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from the University. “I’m not sure when it’s going to hit me that I’m living in sunny Los Angeles working for an NHL team that’s won two Stanley Cups over the past decade. This is something that I’ve been striving to accomplish for years. To be in the position I’m in now is truly amazing.”
‘I love the atmosphere’
Comuniello monitors the promotional items, such as giveaways and ticket-pack items, the team orders and distributes during home games and other events. He collaborates with his marketing teammates to come up with ideas for potential items, and he works with the graphic design team that creates images of what they would look like.
After they are approved and ordered, Comuniello ensures they are exactly where they need to be at the games so they can best be distributed to the thousands of fans in attendance. He then accounts for and stores anything that’s left over.
“I love the atmosphere of working for an NHL franchise team,” he said. “Since I grew up a very big hockey fan, it’s awesome to work in an environment that fosters passion for the game. Additionally, my colleagues are incredibly enjoyable to work with, and the management from above is extremely supportive of all employees. I like working for an organization that emphasizes the importance of teamwork and group cohesion.”
‘You can’t be afraid to make mistakes’
Comuniello says the sports industry, which he says can be just as competitive as the sports themselves, can be challenging to break into. After his time as a Charger, he felt prepared for it, and he’s grateful for his professors at the University who brought their vast industry experience to the classroom.
“If it wasn’t for the outstanding faculty in the University of New Haven’s Sport Management Department, I firmly believe I would not be in the position I am in today,” he said. “The professors made it abundantly clear to everyone that if you weren’t willing to go above and beyond in your academics and internships, you were never going to make it in the sports industry. As a shy kid who usually remained silent in my classes and only worried about grades, this was one of the best forms of ‘tough love’ I’ve ever received.”
Comuniello learned how to differentiate himself in the industry and to count on his abilities. As a first-year student, he already had his career goal in mind, and he listed out the steps he’d have to take to achieve it. He encourages current students to work hard – something that he found has paid off.
“No matter how rigorous the steps are, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes,” he said. “It’s also crucial to learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating them. If you don’t work hard and if you are unwilling to do any of those steps, then you most likely won’t accomplish your end goal.”
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